original paintings on etsy

Pablo Picasso once said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

And with art being an exceptional way for people to express themselves and go beyond the ordinary, there’s never been a better time to start painting.

If you are a talented artist looking for greater exposure, you should definitely consider Etsy as your marketplace. Many artists are already doing so, and with great success.

If you want to learn how to navigate the best strategies for your own original paintings on Etsy, just read on.

How big is the market for original paintings?

A quick search on Etsy for the keyword “paintings” reveals a total of 3,118,068 listings. That’s a huge number indicating that buyers are looking for variety. But because we know that paintings is just one way to refer to wall art, we also explored other related keywords and their associated listings count.

Here are the results:

  • “Drawings”: 3,632,603 listings
  • “Sketches”: 2,929,417 listings
  • “Wall paintings”: 2,564,093 listings
  • “Watercolors”: 1,639,455 listings
  • “Oil paintings”: 526,419 listings
  • “Murals”: 519,198 listings
  • “Etchings”: 70,034 listings
  • “Frescoes”: 3,425 listings

From this brief overview, we can conclude that “drawings” has the highest number of listings because of its broad and descriptive nature. However, “paintings” gets a greater search volume. So, to take our research further, we look at this keyword and its associated search volume on Sale Samurai.

This will help you get the gist of the market size.

Listings saturation and search volume

In this section, we look at the keyword “paintings” and its associated Etsy search volume to see what buyers are actively looking for. In particular, we only looked at search volume above 1,000 to keep the results relevant and fresh.

  • “Painting”: search volume – 26,600
  • “Oil paints painting”: search volume – 26,583
  • “Paintings”: search volume – 26,168
  • “Painting painting”: search volume – 3,623
  • “Clouds painting”: search volume – 3,502
  • “xoxo painting”: search volume – 3,379
  • “WPA painting”: search volume – 3,378
  • “Painting on”: search volume – 3,254
  • “Watercolors paintings”: search volume – 1,151
  • “Watercolor painting”: search volume – 1,111
  • “Tuscany painting”: search volume – 1,088
  • “Sloth painting”: search volume – 1,031

We can deduce that buyers are actively searching for painting-related words because of the huge variation of queries for the word “painting”. Keep in mind that we’ve excluded quite a few duplicates from this list, which have tens of thousands of searches each. You can see those for yourself with a simple search on Sale Samurai.

After this, the second deduction that can be drawn is that customers are looking for different types of painting techniques, with the most sought after being oil and watercolor paintings.

Finally, buyers are also actively searching for different content and subjects of the painting, such as a “sloth” or a “Tuscan”-style painting.

It’s worth bearing this in mind as you sell your artwork on Etsy. But we’ll get into these keywords a bit later on in this article.


Having covered what buyers are actively looking for, we also explore how sellers are approaching their sales strategy through their use of tags. Tags are the keywords that sellers use to rank higher on Etsy search results. There are only 13 keywords you have space for, so it’s worth using them wisely.

Here are some of the top tags with their associated search volume (above 1,000) in this niche:

  • “Wall decor”: search volume – 26,627
  • “Oil paintings”: search volume – 26,616
  • “Painting”: search volume – 26,609
  • “Art print”: search volume – 26,212
  • “Wall art”: search volume – 26,207
  • “Oil painting”: search volume – 26,155
  • “Abstract painting”: search volume – 3,694
  • “Original painting”: search volume – 3,687
  • “Painting on canvas”: search volume – 3,630
  • “Acrylic painting”: search volume – 3,502
  • “Landscape painting”: search volume – 1,126
  • “Watercolor painting”: search volume – 1,111
  • “Tole painting”: search volume – 1,012

The search volume for different types of paintings is considerably high. This means that sellers using these tags in their listings are catering to broad search queries. In addition, they are not using the subject matter of the painting to get noticed.

Instead, they are focusing on the type of materials used to create the painting itself. For example, instead of saying “Tuscan” painting, they use “watercolor”, “acrylic”, “oil” painting and other related terms.


We know that the price of art can be highly subjective. However, Sale Samurai quickly and neatly gives us the lowest, highest, and average prices in this niche. Here are the results:

  • Lowest price: $1.00
  • Highest price: $1,630.43
  • Average price: $57.69

Despite how shocking the highest price is, when compared to many other products on Etsy, the average price is a reasonable $57.

We now explore some bestsellers in this niche who have priced around the average.

What are some of the best-selling merchants doing right?

We found two sellers that are following some of the top strategies for getting in front of an audience.

Here they are:

Seller 1:

  • Seller name: AmyBakkenArt
  • Product title: Original watercolor cantaloupe still life matted painting, fruit, kitchen art
  • Price: $78.00

Seller 2:

  • Seller name: PrintiArtStore
  • Product title: Brown Tabby Cat Artwork Cute Cat Print Nature Canvas Art Square Print Cat Oil Painting
  • Price: $67.27

And here’s how these sellers have optimized their listing.

Keyword optimization

When it comes to the keywords used in their product title, only AmyBakkenArt has included the word “original”. However, describing the subject matter of the paintings such as “cantaloupe still life” and “brown tabby cat”, alongside the materials such as “watercolor” and “oil painting”, makes these listing titles strong.


In addition to the keyword optimization strategy used by both sellers above, they’ve also priced near the $57-mark. This means that they are more likely to get buyers to purchase their products because they are in the affordable range for the value of the product, as indicated by Sale Samurai.


Finally, whereas AmyBakkenArt has not optimized their listing with 10 images, the two images of the product appear to be sufficient for their purpose. On the other hand, PrintiArtStore has used their 10 image spaces optimally with multiple angles of their painting that’s on canvas.

Our tip-list for sellers seeking to enter this niche

And now, we reach the final part, where we talk about the lessons we’ve learned from the bestsellers. As always, our advice is to emulate their strategies for more effective sales of your artwork.

So, without further ado, here is our short tip list:

  1. Keywords: make sure that your product title contains both the subject of the artwork, the materials used to create it (e.g. watercolor, oil, or acrylic), as well as the material it is on (e.g. canvas). Also, consider adding the word “original” to your title to indicate that buyers are not getting a conveyer belt of artwork production, but rather their own original piece.
  2. Price: use Sale Samurai to help you determine the average price in this category of products and price accordingly. In this particular case, that’s $57 or thereabouts.
  3. Images: to fully optimize your listing, be sure to use all 10 spaces for images that Etsy allows for. Offer lifestyle photos of your artwork and show how it will look when hung up on a wall. Videos are also a good idea, especially if you want to showcase how the art was made for a greater effect.

Final thoughts

Etsy is undoubtedly one of the best marketplaces for artists to display their original work.

However, to make the most of your listing, you need to be strategic and smart. This is why Sale Samurai should be your go-to platform to get all the insights you need to compete effectively in this niche. At an incredibly low subscription of only $9.99 per month, it’s a no-brainer if you want to excel at your Etsy gig.

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